For Radio Geeks

“Receive” by  Louis Muggleton, BSc(Eng), PhD, FIEE (London), 1993.

 (abridged by Denise Gregson; 8/16/2020)

Louis Miles Muggleton, BSc(Eng), PhD, FIET(London)  (8 July 1922 – 5 April 2015) was a South African-born British ionospheric physicist and electrical engineer. Building on the work of Sir Edward Appleton in 1975, Muggleton’s seminal work provided the international standard ITU model[7] of radio wave absorption and reflection of the Heaviside layer (or E-layer) of the Ionosphere. This model was based on jointly published work with Stamatis Kouris from the early 1970s.  (see online wikipedia for more)

in 1993, Dr Muggleton wrote a paper that bridged the technical and spiritual worlds using the illustration of radio receivers to express how both science and spirituality not only co-exist, but are both part of an incredible design. Read on for an abridged version of his writing.

In his paper “Receive” he wrote, “I do not know what kind of radio you have.  But I am sure it is a wonderful instrument…The more you know about its inner workings, the more amazing it seems…[I]t has features that illustrate some of the most profound truths about life.

Before that receiver of yours came into existence its designer would have had various considerations in mind, and among his more important aims he would have wanted it to possess: good sensitivity, sharp selectivity, and dependable stability. “

Concerning sensitivity, Muggleton wrote, “Even when the incoming signal is weak, a receiver with good sensitivity will respond meaningfully. When we consider how small is the power picked up from the radio wave by the antenna of your receiver, we marvel at its ability to amplify that input signal enough for comfortable listening.”

He continues by discussing selectivity: “Not only is the power tiny, it is also mixed up with hundreds of other broadcasts.  If your receiver has good selectivity it will respond clearly to only one of them, the selected broadcast.”Further, he describes the importance of both the broadcasting station and the receiver staying well-tuned to the frequency [remaining stable] to avoid distraction and to make for an enjoyable experience.  

Like Muggleton, I hope your receiver is the type that produces these benefits.  However, as Louis noted, without turning on the receiver none of these features can be appreciated.  He expands, “movement in one direction switches the receiver ON, and movement in the opposite direction switches it OFF.”  He compares the receiver’s “life” with our own lives: “When you switch ON your receiver the Power Supply pushes millions of electrons per second through the circuit. They are the lifeblood of the receiver.  They flow down the “arteries”, and back through the “veins”, passing easily along the conductors, then pulsing through capacitors and inductors, and struggling through the resistors and semi-conductors.  With all this activity the set ‘springs to life.’ Before that ON switch was operated the receiver had been ‘dead.’ ”

Muggleton explains: “Like your radio set, you and I are composed of three basic parts:  1) physical, 2) emotional, and 3) spiritual.  And all three are intimately bound together in the one individual. We are balanced people only when all three parts are alive and well.

The physical and emotional parts of your being were switched ON before you were born.

But what of the spiritual component?  [T]he Bible tells us authoritatively that the spiritual part is dead unless and until God has switched it ON.  For example, Ephesians 2 verse 1 speaks of us being ‘… dead in transgressions and sins …’ But our Maker intended otherwise.   Jesus said, ‘I’ have come that they might have life, and have it to the full’, (John 10:10).  Saint Paul summarized it when he wrote, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord’.” (Romans  6 :23).  In other words, Jesus paid the wages for our sin by dying on the cross in our place.

What this means for us is that without God, “the default-setting [of our lives] is at ‘OFF’, and if this describes your spiritual condition, it is of the utmost urgency that it should be switched ON. The procedure for switching ON your spiritual life is something like the operation of your radio receiver.  

Change Direction

We saw earlier that moving the ON/OFF switch of the receiver in one direction had made the radio dead; but movement the opposite way had brought it to life. Now bear in mind that [the bible says] ‘… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23).  We need to change direction (the Bible calls it ‘repent’), following Christ’s Way instead of our own. That Way leads to spiritual life; the opposite way leads to spiritual death.


As soon as the radio is switched ON, life rushes into the circuit from the power supply.  Only then can it receive, or become sensitive to, the radio waves surrounding it. Similarly: ‘… to all who RECEIVED him (Jesus), to those who believed on his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, … but born of God.’ (John 1:12).  Receiving Jesus, you receive LIFE.

Eternal life in Christ is the gift of God, [offered to] all who receive him [in] His way.   Because it is a gift, you cannot earn it. Learn again from your radio: if, after being switched ON, the radio is to perform as its maker intended, all it can do is to open its input to the energy surrounding it, and RECEIVE the broadcast to which it is tuned. And you, dear reader, having turned from the spiritual rebellion common to the human race, can RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Saviour from  spiritual death. RECEIVE him who is Life.

Maybe you are asking:  ‘How do I do that?’ Let Christ himself tell you how. He says ‘Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me’ (Revelation 3:20). Graciously, through his Holy Spirit, he takes you over after you have invited him in, and gives you spiritual life in place of spiritual death.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.’  “(John 3:16, 17)

We can only be SENSITIVE [to the things of God], and have spiritual LIFE when we have been switched ON in Christ…’God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’. (1 John  5:11,12) 

We saw earlier that a receiver needs not only good sensitivity and selectivity, but also good STABILITY. Once tuned, it needs to STAY TUNED.   And your Maker ….wants you to maintain a stable relationship with him. In the Bible he has promised that he will help you to STAY TUNED, through the gracious  work of his Holy Spirit, who not only gives you spiritual life when you invite Jesus in, but also is willing to help you live day by day…

Bear in mind also that receiving him entails having him enter your life, not only as Guest, but also as Master of every department of it: you become his slave, but you also become his child, with all the joy and security that entails…  Consider carefully. The choice is yours.”

I have set before you life and death… Now choose life.  [Deuteronomy 30:19]


Dr. Muggleton contributed not only to the world of radio, propagation and science, but also assisted TWR in its antenna and propagation systems that continue until today.